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<Hello, London! Rin crossing @ Home>2014/05/09

From January 12th to 14th, 2014, Rin crossing ran an exhibit at the trade fair “Home,” a homewares and miscellaneous interior goods tradeshow in London, England. From Sunday to Tuesday, 19 Japanese manufacturers worked with Rin crossing to promote their brands to European buyers and designers by showcasing Japanese workmanship, aesthetics, and goods created with Japanese traditional resources.

The design and technical quality of products are thoroughly evaluated at Home.

This marks the second time that Rin crossing has reported on activities overseas. Featuring a booth lined with posters describing Rin crossing’s mission and brand concept, the exhibit took advantage of the recent popularity of Japanese food to focus on tableware products, endeavoring to promote the goods in an easy-to-understand way. Over 100 buyers entered the exhibit in the course of 3 days. Of these buyers, two-thirds were retail or wholesale buyers, most of whom worked with gallery shops that deal in well-designed and especially unique wares. The other one-third of buyers were designers, chefs, and other creators. These creators were not only interested in purchasing the goods on display, but many expressed an interest in collaboration and using the same raw materials for their own projects. Perhaps they said these things because, with their discerning eyes and sense of purpose in discovering new products, they grasped the quality of design and technical skill on display at our exhibit. Additionally, because Home featured products selected especially for their high quality, we felt both a sense of understanding of and high expectations for Rin crossing. As a high-end tradeshow featuring superior goods, Home truly felt like a place at which Rin crossing’s brand concept and products could receive proper recognition.

Featured producers:
  • ・Inoue Inc.
  • ・Ohashi Ryoki Ltd.
  • ・Odakodoki
  • ・KODO Co., Ltd.
  • ・Shimatani Syoryu-koubou inc.
  • ・Joetsu Crystal Glass CO.,LTD.
  • ・takumi-suzukou Co.Ltd.
  • ・Seihodo Co., Ltd
  • ・TOHOKU KOGEI co.,Ltd.
  • ・Hirota Garasu Co., Ltd.
  • ・The Fujiso Co., Ltd.
  • ・Horiuchi Woodcraft
  • ・Matsui Knitting Crafts Mfg., Ltd.
  • ・MARUNAO Co.,Ltd.
  • ・Roji Associates Co.,Ltd.

At Home, we came in contact with many buyers, from those representing major groups like the V&A Museum Shop to buyers from France, Europe generally, the Middle East, Australia, and other countries and areas beyond the UK.

January is London’s biggest purchasing season

Visitors speed quickly by booths that do not interest them, but they stop and inspect goods long and carefully when an exhibit catches their attention. For this reason, visitors who stop at the booth will listen closely to our explanation of the businesses and products on display. These visitors ask not only for simple general information, but also specifics such as purchasing methods, prices, delivery times, and minimum order quantities. Home is indeed a true purchasing market for retailers.
Because the focus of the exhibit was on the promotion of Japanese businesses, it was a difficult setting at which to engage buyers in specific business dealings. However, most of the buyers who displayed an interest in the showcased wares elected to participate in Rin crossing as members (participating buyers). We wish to function as a place of collaboration and retail purchasing by actively providing useful information to participating overseas buyers, for example by holding gatherings that establish real points of contact between participating buyers and participating manufacturers and artisans.


Jointly-held event, “Top Drawer”

Copper Boom?

At the booth, in addition to introducing participating businesses, we provided simple explanations of the specific details and merits of the products on display.
Buyers who picked up Odakodoki’s ice coffee cup were impressed by the rarity and trendiness of the product, commenting that they had “never seen such a thing,” and that copper as a material is currently popular in architecture and interior design. Teapots from the Fujiso Co. also attracted much interest, with comments such as, “The design of its handle is unique,” and, “The quality and use of the material is quite good.” The colorful patterns of Joetsu Crystal Glass CO.’s curved glass also drew many eyes.

In a different country, the exhibitions are different too?

Although the event began at 9:30 am, morning crowds were sparse. Noon to 3 pm was the busiest period. Exhibitors did not bark or hawk their wares, perhaps because so many visitors to the event have such a high sense of purpose. The overall atmosphere was a calm, quiet one.
At Home, it seems to be the general rule that exhibitors bring in and take out all of their own booth fixtures, fittings, and decorations. From painting the white walls of the booths to affixing their own shelves and lights, local exhibitors are experienced at this type of tradeshow work. Booths suited to the flavor of each exhibit’s products were built up right before our very eyes. It seems that to captivate (sell to) visitors required not merely sales talk, but display-design sense and do-it-yourself carpentry skills.

Marketing at “wagumi”

As a follow-up to the exhibition, we collaborated with the Japanese crafts shop “wagumi” in the heart of London to display our members’ wares from January 15th to February 14th. We continued to publicize our exhibited goods by inviting commercial tableware wholesalers and independent shop owners to visit.

Extra info -Japanese goods found in London-
At the British Museum shop, items such as Japanese bento lunch boxes, manekineko beckoning cat images, ukiyoe prints, and other “cute,” “over-the-top,” and very “Japanese” goods were on sale.
We think that perhaps “cute” and “over-the-top” is easier for customers to understand, but with top manufacturers and artisans from around Japan coming together through Rin crossing, we thought it’d be nice if someday the real Japan could be on display as well.
By the way, at the V&A Museum shop, mashiko-yaki pottery was on display for sale as a work of art, complete with an explanatory panel.

<British Museum shop>
Bento lunch box:£25, on sale at £12.5 Origami crane-style chopstick rests (ceramic):£5.99
Chopsticks and chopstick-rest set:£9.99 Manekineko beckoning cat:£5.99

* “Home” is a London trade fair that specializes in well-designed, artistic homeware and interior goods and accessories (especially merchandise for the high-end market). It has an established reputation for its ability to publicize goods not only within the United Kingdom but worldwide, including other European countries. Every year, alongside the jointly-run “Top Drawer,” over 1000 exhibitors assemble to present to over 15,000 visitors, including buyers, designers, and hotel-, restaurant-, media-, and manufacturer-affiliated representatives from over 50 countries throughout the world.

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